November 24, 1993




In Re: David L. Blair/Ralph Blair




This matter comes to the Attorney General as an apparent appeal by David L. Blair as a result of his attempts to obtain copies of documents from the Boyd County Sheriff's Office. David L. Blair states in his "Action to Compel Defendant to Comply with the Kentucky Open Records Act Pursuant to KRS 61.882" that Philip Sturgill is the Sheriff of Boyd County, that the Sheriff failed to comply with his request for copies of documents, and that a fine of $25.00 per day may be imposed for failure to provide copies of the records requested.


The undersigned Assistant Attorney General called the Boyd County Sheriff's Office on November 12, 1993, and talked with Deputy Sheriff Ralph Blair. Deputy Sheriff Blair stated that he handles requests to inspect documents for the Boyd County Sheriff's Office. He also stated that Troy Dixon is the Boyd County Sheriff at this time rather than Philip Sturgill who apparently will assume the office of Sheriff in January of 1994. Neither Troy Dixon nor Ralph Blair of the Boyd County Sheriff's Office have received a request from David L. Blair to inspect documents in the Boyd County Sheriff's Office. Ralph Blair speculates that if a letter was sent to Philip Sturgill it probably was delivered to Mr. Sturgill's home address since he is not the sheriff at this time.


The Sheriff's Office is, of course, a public agency and subject to the terms and provisions of the Kentucky Open Records Act. See KRS 61.870(1). However, a public agency obviously cannot respond to a request for documents which it has not received, 93-ORD-126, copy enclosed. Since this office has no reason to doubt the truth and veracity of Deputy Sheriff Ralph Blair's statements relative to the nonreceipt of the request for documents, we must conclude that the Boyd County

Sheriff's Office has not violated the terms and provisions of the Open Records Act. David L. Blair will have to reinitiate his request for documents under the Open Records Act with the Boyd County Sheriff's Office, specifically Sheriff Troy Dixon or Deputy Sheriff Ralph Blair, relative to the specific papers with which he is concerned. KRS 61.870 to KRS 61.884.


In addition, David L. Blair's attention is directed to KRS 61.882(5) which provides in part that a court of law, not this office, may award a person an amount not to exceed $25.00 for each day he is denied the right to inspect or copy a public record. Such an award is contingent upon a finding that the records were wilfully withheld in violation of the Open Records Act.


Mr. David L. Blair may challenge this decision by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882. The Attorney General shall be notified of any actions filed against the Boyd County Sheriff's Office pursuant to KRS 61.880(3), but he shall not be named as a party to these actions or in any subsequent proceedings.







Thomas R. Emerson

Assistant Attorney General

(502) 564-7600







Copies of this decision

have been mailed to:


David L. Blair #102530

Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex

P.O. Box 636

West Liberty, Kentucky 41472


Ralph Blair

Boyd County Sheriff's Office

P.O. Box 536

Catlettsburg, Kentucky 41129